Balanced Offense, Strong Goaltending Yield Two Wins for No. 22 Women's Water Polo

Balanced Offense, Strong Goaltending Yield Two Wins for No. 22 Women's Water Polo

LOS ANGELES – The No. 22 Harvard women's water polo team busted out its highest single-day offensive output of the month and produced strong goaltending to close out the Loyola Marymount Invitational with two victories. The Crimson (11-10) handed No. 24 California Baptist a 7-4 loss and five student-athletes registered multiple goals to drown out Fresno Pacific, 14-7, in an afternoon contest.


  • Junior goalie Sam Acker recorded 14 saves. The Palo Alto, Calif., native has made 14 saves in each of her previous two starts.
  • Senior goalie Cleo Harrington denied 15 shots in the win over Fresno Pacific.
  • Senior Sami Strutner and freshman Olivia Price led the Crimson with four goals each on the second day of the LMU Invite. Price split her quartet evenly between the matches, while Strutner netted all four against Fresno Pacific.
  • The offense flowed through sophomore Sofia Carrera-Justiz. The attacker was credited with eight assists on the day, including five versus Fresno Pacific.
  • Junior Haley Bowe scored the game-winner versus Cal Baptist. The defender also posted a team-high three steals in the afternoon contest.
  • Freshman Quinne Pursell led Harvard with three steals against Cal Baptist.
  • Lana Gorlinski, Mathilde Ribordy, Kristen Hong, Strutner, and Price each scored two or more goals in the win over Fresno Pacific. Hong put up four points (2g, 2a) and Gorlinski registered a trio (2g, 1a).

Game One vs. No. 24 California Baptist
Freshmen Olivia Price and Jilly Cronin scored out of the gate to give the Crimson a lead it would not relinquish. Price added another goal in the opening ticks of the second and Lana Gorlinski found the back of the net nearly three minutes later to post Harvard's fourth goal of the day. Cal Baptist pulled within two, 4-2, as the horn sounded on the first half, but Kristen Hong and Haley Bowe scored early in the third to steal back any momentum the Lancers might have hoped to gain. Although Cal Baptist would post two more points in the third, the Crimson defense clamped down and blanked the Lancers in the fourth. Mathilde Ribordy added the finishing touch to Harvard's 7-4 victory with her only goal of the game.

Game Two vs. Fresno Pacific
Harvard overwhelmed the Sunbirds with seven first quarter goals. Ribordy connected on a pass from Carrera-Justiz 19 seconds into the second match of the day to open the scoring. Bowe and Strutner contributed more points, before Fresno Pacific got on the scoreboard, 3-1. Hong and Gorlinski built upon the Crimson lead, before Strutner erupted for three goals in under two minutes of play. Hong and freshman Quinne Pursell added the final goals of the half to give Harvard a sizeable 10-3 advantage at the break. Harvard picked up where it left off in the third quarter, stifling the Sunbird offense and continuing to find the back of the net. Gorlinski resumed the scoring at 3:34 in the frame and Ribordy and Price soon followed, 13-3. Although the Sunbirds scored four times in the fourth, Harvard took the game, 14-7, after Price posted her fourth goal of the day.

What's Next
Meetings against Indiana, Saint Francis, and George Washington await the Crimson next weekend. The Crimson open the weekend against the Hoosiers in Loretto, Pa., on Saturday, March 24 at 9:30 a.m.